Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success
Publisher: Scribner
Published: NaN/NaN/NaN
The daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Angela Duckworth is now a celebrated researcher and professor. It was her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience that led to her hypothesis about what really drives success: not genius, but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

Grit By Angela Duckworth

Key Insights

What’s the secret to getting to the top?

Is it talent?

Or, is it really just about believing in yourself?

In her book, “Grit”, Angela Duckworth shares her secrets to success. Duckworth puts emphasis on determination and perseverance when it comes to reaching your goal.

She tells why people often believe they are not good enough to reach their dreams and how this hinders their work efforts.

“I have a feeling tomorrow will be better is different from I resolve to make tomorrow better.”- Angela Duckwork

After reading these helpful tips from author, Angela Duckworth, you will understand why hard work is really the only thing you should be focused on when it comes to making your dreams come true.

Key Points

  • The Talent Bias

We have all heard the saying to keep on trying even when the going gets tough. But, the truth is, as humans, we have this thing called the talent bias. We believe that the people with the most talent will naturally make their way to the top without any hard work or effort. But, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even talented people need to work hard!

In business, employers would rather hire a person with a strong work-ethic than one who is just naturally good at what they do. When the people who enjoy hard work are encountered with a new obstacle they will work to overcome it. People with natural talent, however, might be baffled and overwhelmed, which could affect the way they problem-solve.

Still, unfortunately in the job world, people are often hit with the talent-bias. Someone who is a natural people-person may seem more valuable than someone who has learned to network along the way in their career.

  • Effort is More Valuable Than Talent

Effort leads to skills, which then leads to results. When you put the effort into something such as a political campaign, you begin to learn things along the way, and when you learn new skills, you can utilize them and see results.

“As much as talent counts, effort counts twice.”- Angela Duckworth

If you want a formula to refer to, Talent x Effort = Skill.

Then, to expand on that formula more, Skill x Effort = Achievement.

This formula can be used when practicing anything. For example, if you are a musician and you dream of attending Julliard, you must put in the effort in order to get to that achievement. Not only do you have to practice, but you must go through the effort of applying and auditioning for a spot in the program.

  • Stick to Low-Level Goals

In order to keep doing what you love, creating low-level goals will help you to maintain balance and keep you motivated. Think of low-level daily goals as a path you are paving to your success.

Starting with goals that are too high, such as the end goal of being an Olympian or a famous author will only encourage you to overlook the little things that must be done along the way to get to those desired positions.

If you don’t incorporate small goals into your daily habits, the big end goal will always seem impossible because you are not taking the little steps to get there.

When you have a clear vision of what you want, you can figure out a daily habit regimen that will reflect that and get you there.

  • Love What You Do

It cannot be emphasized enough that you should love what you’re doing. In a 2014 poll, two-thirds of Americans confessed that they felt disengaged when they were working. Only 13% said they felt motivated by their job.

This poll shows that you must love what you do in order to stay motivated.

That’s why it’s important to find a job that is right for you. If you are a people’s person and love socializing, you will not flourish working independently without regular human contact.

“When you keep searching for ways to change your situation for the better, you stand a chance of finding them. When you stop searching, assuming they can’t be found, you guarantee they won”- Angela Duckworth

But, with this in mind, you must also must be realistic about the jobs that you can do.

And, once you have found that job that motivates you and makes you happy, stick with it long-term so that you can grow and reach your highest potential.

  • Practice Smart

The old motto, “work smarter, not harder” is too true. And, it’s no big secret that people who practice a new skill will naturally become better at it than the people who do not put in the time and effort.

A big trick is to turn off your auto-pilot. Forget what you have always done and try something new. And, don’t forget to tailor your goals along the way in order to reach a new set of goals. For example, if you practice yoga and your goal is to hold your pose for an extra 15 seconds, but you surpass it, the next day tailor your goal to challenge yourself even more so that you can go further.

Another thing you must note is to listen to feedback, whether it be from your body during a yoga session, or a mentor at work. Do not continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. This will not bring you closer to your goal.

You need to practice efficiently in order to get to your end goal. Just putting in the time doesn’t always work. It must be done right.

  • Finding Your True Calling

The best way to get rid of that procrastination bug is to actively try to find motivation in the work you are doing.

If you love what you do, motivation comes extremely easy. However, for most people, that’s not the case. An easy solution is to find motivation by seeing how your work helps others.

“At its core, the idea of purpose is the idea that what we do matters to people other than ourselves.”- Angela Duckworth

Finding purpose in your job can make all the difference in the way you perceive your work.

And, even if you don’t want to stick with your job forever, there is always time on the side to find and develop your true calling or your ultimate passion.

  • The Role of the Teacher

Teachers and parents can definitely be impactful by rewarding children for hard work and determination, rather than just their natural talent. By teaching kids that hard work goes a long way, they will be more apt to incorporate it into their lives as adults.

Children should be encouraged to try harder rather than be put down when they are not naturally good at singing, art, or sports.

It is also important that teachers and parents adopt the part of role model to the kids in their lives. They must also work hard to show the children the benefits that come out of having a strong work-ethic.

  • It’s All About Grit

Grit is a quality that is learned, not that comes naturally. People who work hard and are ambitious are often said to have grit. But, this comes from years of learning through their own experiences and of those around them.

People who embrace grit understand that’s what it takes to get anywhere in life. Nothing is handed to you, you must work for it.

Main Take-Away

In order to feel purpose in your career, you must follow your passion. And, though the going might get tough, you must be determined to stick with it so that you can reach your highest potential.


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